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Intel Atom CPU Review

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June 6, 2008 1:10:35 AM

wow, 107 on 3D mark06
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June 6, 2008 2:03:39 AM

Celerons have significantly lower frequencies than Atom? umm...no. Only the ULV celeron M has a lower freqency. Modern notebooks start with Celerons at least 1.6GHz, more likely 1.86GHz, and are built on the much more modern Merom architecture, which have at least a 10% IPC advantage over the old Dothan architecture. No, atom is nowhere NEAR a modern Celeron in performance. Nice try though.
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June 6, 2008 2:06:36 AM

Also, Why not have a Celeron 420 by now? Are you telling me that THG, with all its money, can't budget in a $30 CPU for comparative testing?
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June 6, 2008 2:41:50 AM

After reviewing the article, I can say I'm thoroughly unimpressed with the Atom platform (at least the current desktop derivative). If anyone can remember, THG did a $300 PC build using now ancient Celeron Ds and AMD Semprons. One thing that I find amazing, is that those old rigs both use LESS power than this Atom desktop rig.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/the-300-pc,1546-10....

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June 6, 2008 3:48:39 AM

Don't you people understand that Atom is not a desktop processor? You can't compare its performance to a desktop processor fairly because that's not what it is designed for.
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June 6, 2008 4:26:17 AM

This Atom CPU is on a desktop board. That means it's fair game, especially when the processors being compared are also comparable in price.
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June 6, 2008 4:43:12 AM

It's on a desktop board, woopdedoo. If you could get your mobile phone processor to run on a desktop board would you compare it to an E2160?
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June 6, 2008 5:34:04 AM

Who cares what the Atom CPU is SUPPOSED to be. It is right now, in this review, on a desktop-oriented package, built to compete with low power consumption desktop computers. It fails miserably in that regard, as it is neither low power consumption, nor competitive. In your ridiculous example, if I had a mobile phone processor on a desktop board, and it ended up consuming more power than an E2160/motherboard combo that costs the same amount of money, all the while performing much worse than the e2160, I would call the mobile phone cpu on a desktop motherboard either A FAILURE or AMD. Take your pick.
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June 6, 2008 6:35:13 AM

So, for the Intel Atom, you do use an updated version of Sandra, but not for the Phenom. You compare it to the VIA C7, a 3 year-old CPU, but not the VIA Nano, which will be available in the same timeframe as the Atom. You don't provide graphics for power consumption, despite the Atom being designed for low power consumption; surprise, the old C7-M system draws less power.

Biased much?
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Anonymous
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June 6, 2008 8:10:54 AM

Not sure that Nano's are really available yet, still a newer mini-itx based C7 (say EPIA-M700) would have been better, since you would be looking at even less power than the one used and the VX800 will end up used with the Nano. The D201DLY[2] would have been good to compare to, would also give some idea how the Atom would go paired with SiS chipsets.
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June 6, 2008 9:43:22 AM

Why not benchmark with other mobile CPUs like Intel X-scale and the mobile CPU from TI etc Atom would be more make sense to use on small mobile device rather than notebook.
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Anonymous
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June 6, 2008 10:32:38 AM

randomizerDon't you people understand that Atom is not a desktop processor? You can't compare its performance to a desktop processor fairly because that's not what it is designed for.


His point was that it's not only less powerful than "comparable" desktop CPUs, it also takes more power, which pretty much defeats the meaning of being used as a CPU in portable applications. His point is that this CPU is unimpressive in every area you could apply it versus what's already there. Nice try, Intel.
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Anonymous
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June 6, 2008 11:37:35 AM

VIA Nano powered by Nvidia GPU in mini-itx play game: Crysis and Bioshock.
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Anonymous
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June 6, 2008 12:20:18 PM

??? INTEL ATOM vs. VIA NANO ???
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June 6, 2008 1:27:18 PM

Where the heck is the performance / watt comparisons. The entire point of this processors creation is performance / watt and its missing from your benchmarks! Please Add!
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June 6, 2008 1:59:33 PM

Dude, please correct your Cinebench R10 charts, they are screwed up.

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June 6, 2008 3:47:40 PM

Quote:
His point was that it's not only less powerful than "comparable" desktop CPUs, it also takes more power, which pretty much defeats the meaning of being used as a CPU in portable applications. His point is that this CPU is unimpressive in every area you could apply it versus what's already there. Nice try, Intel.

Don't get me wrong...I do think the Atom probably has a decent performance per watt for the CPU itself, but this platform being tested, the entire rig, is where it disappoints. I don't know if it's all in the PSU inefficiency or what, as Anandtech's review of the ASUS Eee Box put power consumption at below 20 watts under load, using a seemingly comparable hardware list (but with a DC power brick, instead of a conventional power supply).
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June 6, 2008 6:02:57 PM

Good article.
Still don't know if it's POSSIBLE to run Vista64 on a Atom.
I'll wait for the next-gen of eee PC clones. Then I'll get a better idea of real-world performance.
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Anonymous
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June 6, 2008 7:12:25 PM

NVIDIA Tegra is much Better
It would be interesting to see their response at the Intel Atom Processor Launch Event on June 3rd, 2008*. In the meantime, let's take a look at what the NVIDIA Tegra is all about... why ? lets see
* an 800 MHz ARM CPU,
* a HD video processor,
* an imaging processor,
* an audio processor,
* and an ultra-low power GeForce GPU
for father information plz go to http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=549&pgno=...
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June 6, 2008 7:34:47 PM

Yay the Poulsbo processor is named after where I live :D . There is only one Poulsbo... so it must be. I'ma go out and buy one now. ;) 
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June 6, 2008 11:26:55 PM

Pair that with a 8w AMD northbridge and you would be talking..
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June 7, 2008 1:35:54 AM

Once Intel gets its 45nm chipsets out this thing will be much better for power consumption.
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June 7, 2008 8:52:42 AM

good thing i held back on buying the asus eee pc. a faux-duo atom version is more appealing, imo.
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June 7, 2008 2:44:32 PM

So... No actual real-world comparison against C7? That's weak.
And where is the Geode comparison?
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June 8, 2008 4:41:02 AM

Why did you underclock the Atom? If it was left at its stock clock we'd have seen less performance than the celeron-m still with less difference in power consumption. Its like you're going out of your way to make this thing seem better than it may be.
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June 8, 2008 8:46:42 AM

I love this part "Finally, we ran a test that consists of compressing approximately one GB of files with WinRAR. Since the Sempron uses a different memory subsystem (DDR) and a real graphics card, it doesn’t show up on this test – the comparison would have been thrown off"

Yeah.. A GPU will probably thow off the winrar benchmark! Uh?
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Anonymous
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June 8, 2008 12:44:54 PM

Mini Notebooks like the EEE 901 and the MSI Wind are getting between 4-5 hours of battery life using the Atom. While the EEE 900 and others using the Celeron M only get max 2.5 hours. So...pretty much similar performace, similar price, and twice the battery life. Considering the target platform of this CPU I'd say Atom > Celeron M.
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June 9, 2008 10:06:01 AM

And AMD is Not at all Planning to compete With Intel Here... Even if they want to they can't Thats a bad thing... Just VIA and Intel...

http://free-and-useful.blogspot.com
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June 9, 2008 12:58:43 PM

I never meant it that way, I just thought it was funny, that the low power part from Intel, has a chipset that draws five times as much as my - highest end AMD chipset does..
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Anonymous
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June 10, 2008 3:45:36 AM

it would be a cheap alternative with a decent board for a multimedia server/download manager/firewall pc. it would be a killer for a htpc, if there would be a board with a nice pci express slot (a 2400 pro is a decent hardware for the task, and cheap ofc). because it has practically no heat disciplination, it could be the dream cpu of a silent pc.

but the power consumption is high. indeed, its higher, than an undervoltaged q6600@1800 in idle mode with EIST enabled (tipically, you can get one with G0 stepping prime stable on 1.0-1.1V). with a 8600gt, P35 chipset. and 80W under load, which is indeed higher, but thats a quadcore with a GPU. and in dec, a new core comes with very low power consumptions at idle...

for laptops, its a fine choice, but for a desktop pc, without a good mobo, its pretty much useless.
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Anonymous
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June 17, 2008 4:28:14 PM

Randomizer is right, it's simply a point of reference to compare this to a desktop. This chip is designed for computers between a handheld and a 12" laptop. Not for playing games above solitare and peggle, for simple web access. The beefiest graphics this guy will be looking at is high-end flash and silverlight powered pages.
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Anonymous
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June 18, 2008 6:03:15 PM

Again to note that the power consumption on the Atom test was largely due to the "unique" chipset that needed to be fan-cooled. I'm suspecting with the proper chipset the total power consumption could be less than the Cel-D ALONE. Intel is not bright all the time, but they're not that stupid if they're going to spend money doing something not of their forté.
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August 1, 2008 7:09:59 PM

how does this compare in performance to an older computer (like a Pentium4 with an ATI 9800 card... which I just saw on craigslist for $60 -- similar price to the atom/cel220 motherboards)? Can anyone speculate (with any accuracy)?

I ask because I also have one of these p4's in my basement and wonder when a similar performing replacement will fit in a custom case (which I'm wanting to build).
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Anonymous
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October 6, 2008 2:18:17 PM

NVIDIA Tegra is not x86 processor and it's not for PC world but rather phones & gadgets.
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October 29, 2008 1:14:00 PM

I'm developing an industrial controller using WinXPe which necessitates x86. My current effort uses a Mini-ITX mainboard. I'm interested in comprehensive comparisons C7, Nano, Atom, and Celeron M that evaluate the performance aspects I depend on. I need to run a classic .NET Windows Forms Application involving some (not extensive) floating point and the displaying of help images or videos for the operator. The machine control stuff uses a couple of threads so threading performance is interesting also. Power consumption and battery considerations are not primary though I wouldn't want to heat up the controller enclosure unduly.

These kinds of processors wind up spanning a wide range of applications so it would be great if the methodologgy and results of comparisons were carried out with just a bit more rigor so that less informed readers like myself could more easily interpret them. I think I got a very rough idea of compute performance of C7 vs. Atom vs. Celeron M but I wouldn't lean too strongly on it. And it will be interesting to see how the Nano performs as well.
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Anonymous
October 1, 2009 4:49:41 PM

I am still amazed at how popular these netbook's are. Considering how you take a big step backwards in terms of speed and features. All because of a low price. In fact in some cases only a hundred dollars and some change more. You can buy a pretty good laptop with the abilities to play HD video. But its not that the netbook's are bad. Its just that the expectations are exceeding its abilities.
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Anonymous
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January 8, 2011 8:02:58 AM

Atoms suck in all area's
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Anonymous
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January 9, 2011 10:52:59 PM

i got a old sempron 1.6ghz. today in my country sells new pc´s with atom 1.6ghz. (sempron 1.6 + asrock vm800 upgrade + 1gb ram + (40+80)gb hard drives and a nvidia 6200 with 512mb on board) my old fashion desktop pc still rocks!!!
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Anonymous
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August 2, 2011 3:21:16 AM

nosebleed ako sa english nyu!!!!!!!!!!!!
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!